Iraqi Oil to Help American Economy, Hurt America's Enemies
With the price of oil dropping, the American economy will receive a much-needed boost. Without total energy independence being achieved, we’ll still see hundreds of billions of dollars leaving American shores each year, but oil is so central to American life that every citizen will have fewer gray hairs with each drop in the price.
The dramatic increase in oil production will benefit the U.S. and its allies in other ways. As Christopher Hitchens points out, new oil and natural gas reserves have been discovered in the Sunni areas of western Iraq, including Anbar Province, and Baghdad. One of Iraq’s major conundrums, namely that the Shiites and Kurds controlled all the oil, will be solved, as the Sunnis will also have their share. Any violence committed by Sunni insurgents will directly impact the wallets of the Sunnis they claim to defend. Ironically, the very commodity that some thought would tear the country into pieces will help keep it together. And the increased revenue will lead to decreased reliance upon the U.S. and a stronger Iraqi government more capable of combating its enemies -- enemies that we share.
The Iranian government should be worried. Faced with massive popular unrest and economic troubles that are pushing the regime into bankruptcy, a drop in oil prices and rising up of an economically successful democratic Iraq could be the final nail in its coffin. The regime needs every dime it can get, as many government workers are going months without pay, which makes it all the more vital that Americans put their money in terror-free mutual funds. Their ideology will suffer a mortal blow, as all Iranians and Iraqis can compare the prosperity of a democratic Iraq with the instability, misery, and economic stagnation of the theocratic Islamic Republic of Iran. That is a contrast that the Iranian regime cannot allow to become apparent.
U.S. security is enhanced as dependence upon Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and ironically Russia decreases. If a terrorist attack or Iranian missile were to hit a Saudi oil field, a disaster would ensue but the pain would be significantly less. At the same time, the decreased reliance gives the U.S. much greater leverage where it previously had little, particularly in handling Gulf countries with a spotty record on combating extremism.
Soon after the economic crisis started in the U.S., Dick Morris made a valid observation. He said that falling oil prices are accomplishing what we hoped domestic drilling and alternative energy sources would accomplish: “the defeat of OPEC, Iran, Chavez, Putin and the weakening of the financial underpinnings of Islamist terrorism. In each of these nations, the hold of the dictator is weakening as, one after the other, they face the consequences of dropping oil prices.”
This statement still holds true today, and as Iraq’s oil production increases, the effect of these benefits will multiply. In many ways, it’s a game changer. If Iraq doesn’t collaborate with OPEC and restrict sales of oil in order to keep the prices high, then history will show that the overthrow of Saddam Hussein couldn’t come soon enough.